Fraudulent RTA claims lead to increase in insurance premiums
Recently the One Show on BBC1 hosted a discussion regarding fraudulent road traffic accident claims and how these are often part of an organised crime ring.
Also known as “crash for cash”, such scams are costing insurance companies in the region of £200 million a year, but when offset against the cost of investigating each and every claim and producing evidence that leads to a prosecution for fraud, the insurers would rather back down and pay up.
The scammers know they are onto a winner and they therefore have no reason to stop.
Its left up to the drivers out there on the road to be as vigilant as possible, to be aware of the possibility of such scams and to be ready and prepared to take action against such a claim, i.e. to take photographs, and take note of the exact position of and damage to the vehicles, and whether any witnesses were present, etc.
Typical scams involve a 2-car gang that position themselves one in front and one behind you, then the car at the front slows down and the car at the back speeds up, forcing the victim to drive into the back of the first car.
The gang then claim damages for the car and any personal injury against the victim in the middle car. In addition they can arrange for the vehicle to be deemed a write off or total loss so they can “bump up” their claim.
Another typical scam is when one gang member comes up to a junction and brakes sharply to make the car behind run into the back of them.
Simpson Millar takes the matter very seriously and are mindful of fraudulent claims when it comes to reviewing accident circumstances. It can be difficult to detect if the accident involves a simple hit-in-rear and for this reason we as solicitors are often very reliant on claimant credibility. We make every effort to screen claimants at this level to ensure that we do not contribute to the worrying level of fraudulent claims that are inevitably increasing our insurance premiums in a financial climate where every penny counts! But to succeed we inevitably need the help of the general public so we can feel like we have faith in the claimants we act for.
This article was written by Jo Milne of the RTA Team.